1875 - 1889Other Shakespeare performances
31 May 1884

Much Ado About Nothing

Location Royal Lyceum Theatre, London, UK
Plays performed Much Ado About Nothing


Date 31 May 1884
Play(s) Much Ado About Nothing
Production Date(s) Saturday May 31st 1884
Venue Royal Lyceum Theatre
Time of performance 8pm
Stage Manager H. J. Loveday
Scene Designer Hawes Craven, W. Cuthbert and William Telbin
Costume Designer Mrs Reid, Auguste & Co.
Choreographer Mr Dewinne
Music Director Meredith Ball
Document ID ET-D61 Original record
Held by The British Library
Notes 213th performance; start of 6th season of management. Programme includes Henry Irving and Ellen Terry's press reports from American tour.
3 scanned images
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Much Ado About Nothing, 31 May 1884, Image 1 of 3

ROYAL LYCEUM THEATRE. Sole Lessee and Manager, Mr HENRY IRVING. This Evening commences the Sixth Season of the present management. MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING 213th Performance at the Lyceum Theatre.

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Much Ado About Nothing, 31 May 1884, Image 2 of 3

THIS EVENING, SATURDAY, MAY 31st, 1884, AT EIGHT O'CLOCK, WILL BE PRESENTED Shakespeare's Comedy MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING --- The Scenery by HAWES CRAVEN, W. CUTHBERT and WILLIAM TELBIN. The Overture and Incidental Music composed and arranged by Mr. MEREDITH BALL. Hymn, "Pardon Goddess of the Night," by the Rev. Canon DUNCOMBE. "Sigh no more," STEVENS. The Costumes by Mrs. REID and AUGUSTE et Cie. The Dances Arranged hy M. DEWINNE. Machinist, Mr. KNIGHT. Appointments, Tapestries, &c., by Mr. ARNOTT. --- Benedick: Mr HENRY IRVING. Don Pedro: Mr. W.TERRISS. Don John: Mr. HAVILAND. Claudio: Mr. NORMAN FORBES. Leonato: Mr. WENMAN. Antonio : MR. HARBURY. Friar Francis : Mr. MEAD Balthazar (With Song): Mr J.ROBERTSON Borachio: Mr. F.TYARS. Conrade: Mr. LYNDAL. Dogberry, Mr.H.HOWE. Verges: Mr STANISLAUS CALHAEM. Seacol, Mr. ARCHER. Oatcake: Mr CLIFFORD. A Sexton: Mr. CARTER. A Messenger: Mr. ANDREWS. Hero: Miss MILLWARD. Margaret: Miss. HARWOOD. Ursula: Miss L.PAYNE. AND Beatrice: Miss ELLEN TERRY. Ladies, Gentlemen, Maskers, Pages, Attendants, Musicians, Guards, Watchmen, Soldiers, Servants &c. &c. SCENE-MESSINA. Synopsis of Scenery ACT I. SCENE 1. LEONATO'S HOUSE - HAWES CRAVEN SCENE 2. BEFORE LEONATO'S HOUSE - HAWES CRAVEN SCENE 3. HALL IN LEONATO'S HOUSE - W.CUTHBERT ACT II. SCENE 1. BEFORE LEONATO'S HOUSE - HAWES CRAVEN SCENE 2. LEONATO'S GARDEN (Evening) - HAWES CRAVEN ACT III. SCENE 1. LEONATO'S GARDEN (Morning) - HAWES CRAVEN SCENE 2. THE CEDAR WALK - HAWES CRAVEN SCENE 5. A STREET - HAWES CRAVEN ACT IV SCENE. INSIDE OF A CHURCH - W.TELBIN. ACT V. SCENE 1. A PRISON - W.CUTHBERT SCENE 2. LEONATO'S GARDEN - HAWES CRAVEN SCENE 3. THE MONUMENT OF LEONATO - W.TELBIN. SCENE 4. HALL IN LEONATO'S HOUSE - HAWES CRAVEN --- Programme of Music: During the Evening the Orchestra under the Direction of Mr. J.MEREDITH BALL will perform the following Selections- Pot-pourri: "Much Ado About Nothing": J. Meredith Ball. Valse: "Much Ado About Nothing": J. Meredith Ball. Grand March: "La Reine de Saba": Gounod. Entr'acte: "Salterello": Gounod. --- Stage Manager - Mr. H. J. LOVEDAY. --- The Bill of the Play will in every part of the House be supplied without charge. No Fees of any kind are permitted, and Mr. IRVING trusts that in his endeavour to carry out this arrangement, he may rely on the co-operation of the Public, who are requested, should there be any cause of complaints, or especial satisfaction, to refer to the Acting Manager --- DOORS OPEN AT 7.30, PERFORMANCE COMMENCES AT 8. --- Stalls, 10s.; Dress Circle, 6s.; Upper Circle, 4s.; Amphitheatre, 2s.6d.; Pit, 2s.; Gallery, 1s. Private Boxes, £2 2s. to £4 4s. --- Box Office open 10 till 5, under tbe direction of Mr. JOSEPH HURST, of whom seats can be booked One Month in advance, also by Letter or Telegram. --- Acting Manager - Mr. BRAM STOKER.

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Much Ado About Nothing, 31 May 1884, Image 3 of 3

"MR. HENRY IRVING concluded last night one of the most remarkable seasons ever made by an actor in America. He has gained and held the attention of the theatre-going public to an extent that cannot be explained, except on the ground that he fully deserved it. Whatever success he met pecuniarily has been honestly earned, for although his name had long been familiar to patrons of the drama, so that he did not come to us as a surprise, no one in his profession has been heralded by so little systematic puffing, or has, personally been more modest and retiring. Our country has already been indebted to Irving for the hearty personal and professional hospitality which he extended to American actors visiting London. The debt has recently been made much larger, not only by his own acting, but by the benefit he has conferred on the American stage by showing that a leading actor need not be afraid to be supported by as good a company as can be engaged and that no detail of dress, scenery, or performance is so trifling as to justify carelessness. In payment for all of this Mr. Irving will have to accept what he already should feel abundantly assured of-the lasting esteem of all our intelligent patrons of the stage. "-New York Herald." Last night, at the Star Theatre, in the presence of a numerous assemblage, and amidst acclamations of delight, as well as many denotements of regret at an impending loss, Mr. Irving, Miss Terry, and the London Lyceum Theatre Company took their farewell of America, and closed the first Irving season in the New World. The success of these distinguished actors in America has been earned, and not merely vouchsafed, and one that rests on merit and not on opinion. Back of the great actor is the lofty, calm, resolute, far seeing and always noble mind. True achievment exists by virtue, and not by sufferance. He cannot be forgotten, and he never can fail in the commanding purpose of his life. Honour goes before him, and affection remains behind. Fortunate for the world, as for the man, that this should be so. The history of the dramatic art at present presents many examples, pitiable and pathetic, of men who have spent long years of toil in intellectual pursuits, and with faculties of a high order, but whose efforts have passed without recognition and without reward. Thrice happy he to whom nature has vouchsafed the investiture of genius, so that his labour becomes glorified in all eyes with that mysterious radiance of divinity.' -New York Tribune. "Mr. Henry Irving at the Star Theatre last night concluded one or the most remarkable theatrical tours ever made in the United States. His opening performance at once created an interest which never flagged, but continually increased until the final curtain fell last night upon as great a triumph as has ever been acheived by a foreign actor in this country. Mr. Irving has pursued his course in America so earnestly and so unostentatiously that he has won the respect, if not the affection, of our entire amusement-seeking populace. He has done more than this. He has forced that critical element which received him most cautiously to acknowledge its admiration for him; he has put to the blush those who abused him. Mr. Irving has won a glorious victory here, and when he returns next season he will receive a welcome as hearty as the parting last night was affectionate. "-New York Truth. "Again Irving is on the sea, and he goes like a king, triumphant in every way, leaving a host of admiring friends behind, and sure of a royal welcome when he reaches England. His last performance was an event. The audience was the largest ever assembled in the Star Theatre ; it was representative of the wealth, intellect, and culture of the metropolis; it was thoroughly pleased, and it was extraordinarily enthusiastic. Repeated cheers emphasised Mr. Irving's graceful speech ot adieu, and Ellen Terry was called before the curtain. Thus ends a theatrical tour which, for its financial and artistic success, its international cordiality, and its beneficial effects upon the American stage, is without a precedent. There is no longer a dissenting voice as to Mr. Irving's supremacy as a tragedian, a manager, and a gentleman. No other Englishman has received such social honour in this country; and from the President of the United States to the humblest employé of the theatre, everybody whom he has met is his warm personal friend."-New York Spirit of the Times. --- "MISS ELLEN TERRY has won all hearts. "-New York Spirit of the Times. " Miss Terry is essentially spontaneous absolutely unconventional, and positively individual. She uses all the characters in drama as vehicles for the expression of her own. She possesses sweetness that softens all hard lines of the ancient tragic form, and leaves a perfect impression of nature and genius. "-New York Tribune. "It was a memorable occasion. The house was crowded to the lobbies, and enthusiasm ran high. Mr, lrving's parting speech was in excellent taste-a model of what such a speech should be. The good effects of Mr. lrving's visit to America will show themselves sooner or later, if, indeed, they have not already been felt ; and we owe him a debt of gratitude which we will try to discharge, when he returns next fall."-The Critic. "On this occasion, which had unusual importance and brilliancy, Mr. Irving bade farewell to the American public. The theatre was overcrowded. The audience was noteworthy and displayed enthusiasm on the slightest provocation. Mr. Irving was called a dozen times to the front of the curtain, and Miss Terry received her part of public approbation after the fourth act of 'Much Ado about Nothing.'" -New York Times. "Mr. Henry Irving and his company faced a most brilliant audience last night at their farewell performance in the Star Theatre. He chose for his closing night the trial scene from 'The Merchant of Venice,' the fourth act of' Louis XI ,' the third act of 'Charles I.,' and the fourth act of' Much Ado About Nothing,' and throughout the evening he and Miss Terry received the warmest applause. As the curtain fell on the last act the audience fairly rose with applause, and finally compelled Mr. Irving to speak." - 'The Sun. "The proudest triumph of Mr. Irving is that he has grown on us. I think we may all join (L'envoi) in wishing Mr Irving many happy returns of the same. His season here has done something more than win our admiration; it has commanded our respect. He has swept us back to the possibilities of the old art, and shown us what can be done in the serious and worthy drama when we have a high purpose and a conscientious regard for the means. I am sure that all true admirers and well-wishers of the stage will be glad to see him back."-New York World. --- W. S. Johnson-" Nassau Steam Press," 60, St. Martin's Lane, London, W.C.

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